It’s not that I don’t agree with you, Shirou, but you have to admit… actions speak louder than words. So color me surprised when this episode showed me so many wonderful truths about the story.
First things first, Archer and Shirou have a conversation. Well, that’s alright. I don’t believe these two have ever had a heart-to-heart before. Archer tells our hero that he doesn’t consider the latter to be a mage. For him, it’s not just about the amount of mana you have inside you. It’s the mindset that matters! Yes! You have to be cold-blooded. You have to achieve your goals at all costs! Then, he tells Shirou that Heroic Spirits are nothing more than tools. They have no free will. They are summoned to fight in this Holy Grail War, then discarded when it is all said and done. Finally, Archer tells Shirou that he has no wish left unfulfilled. Mmm, I’m glad we had this talk. Don’t think I’m being sarcastic, though! I’m not! With all these angles of the conversation, how could I be bored?
When Shirou returns home, his teacher tells him that they found Ayako. The girl looks somewhat shaken up, but Shirou’s told that she’ll be okay. I’m glad to hear that! Shirou then tells Sakura that it’s dangerous out there, so she should stay here for the time being.
Afterwards, Shirou and Saber have a conversation. He tells her about the truce between him and Rin. Saber then tells him that their truce will be dissolved when they discover the identity of the third Master at the school. Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.
The next day at school, Shinji, still salty over the rumors that said he had done something to Ayako, decides to spread some rumors of his own. So he tells Shirou that Ayako was found in a back alley with her uniform in tatters. Oh my~ But Shirou better not too angry for his friend. Shinji tells our hero that he’ll regret throwing around false accusations. I believe it. I’ve been told that Shinji comes from a well-known family.
Later, Shirou and Rin spend some time disabling some of the sigils hidden around the school. Whoa, nobody told me about this! But Rin does tell us that they’ve only managed to weaken the Bounded Field. And while they were disabling those sigils, our heroes share a fascinating conversation on why Rin didn’t initially see Shirou as a mage. After they are all said and done, Rin tells our hero to hurry on home. After all, it isn’t safe to say out after dark. But don’t get the wrong idea! They have an alliance after all, so Rin tells Shirou it would be very bad for her if he died.
Just as Shirou was about to leave campus, Shinji shows up once more to tell our hero a few things. First, the Bounded Field belongs to him. Shinji tells us it’s his insurance policy, but I’m not so sure about that. Anyway, he pretty much admits to being Rider’s Master despite the fact that he has no mana. That’s probably why Rider has to go around, draining people of their life force. Shinji and Shirou are thus very similar. They’re both romantically linked to Rin, but the girl only likes our wholesome hero. They both have no mana to give to their Servants, but our wholesome hero lets Saber stay at home and rest up. Rider, on the other hand, has the unfortunate task of hunting for her own juice, if you will. And oh yeah, Sakura plays some sort of role in both guys’ lives. So to put it another way, Shinji and Shirou are almost like foils. Man, I only wish the anime would tell me this, so I don’t get confused. Am I supposed to compare and contrast them or what? Anyway, he proposes an alliance between him and Shirou. But y’know, you’re not going to have any luck recruiting the wholesome hero when you pretty much implied earlier that his friend, i.e. Ayako, is a whore. And again, the myriad angles really kept this conversation fresh and captivating:
Later that night, Shirou tries to hone his Tracing powers, but Saber walks in on him. He thus tells her about his powers. He wants to show her as well, but Saber realizes his concentration is lacking. So she leaves him alone for now. What a shame.
With about five minutes left in the episode, Caster makes her move and kidnaps Shirou. With him tied up by thin strands of strings, our new villain first tells our hero what she intends to do: she is going to take his Command Seals and give them to her Master. In the process, she tells him how weak he is — weakest of all the Masters, in fact. She tells him she won’t kill him though. After all, she also tells him how she’s perfected her technique; she now knows how to collect just the right amount… of something. I don’t know what that something is, but I’m sure the anime will tell me eventually. Shirou asks if Caster was responsible for the recent spat of coma cases. She tells him that she is.
Saber tries to rescue Shirou, but she can only enter through the front gate, which is guarded by Assassin. Why can’t she enter through any other way? She tells us it’s due to a Bounded Field that repels Heroic Spirits. Assassin then tells Saber his name, but he doesn’t want her to tell him her name. One of the rules that the anime has told us, however, is that it’s dangerous for Servants to reveal their true identity to others. So Assassin is probably full of shit. He told us false information!
But back to Shirou for just a second, he’s about to lose his Command Seals, but arrows come raining down from the sky and save our wholesome hero. But like his Master, Archer is so tsundere. He tells Shirou he just happened to be nearby, and he’s surprised to find that Shirou isn’t dead. Archer then tells Shirou to stay put, because he’s about to battle Caster… aaaaand end episode. Boy, that was a really good one, you guys! This episode showed us so many great conversations!